News crew victim of attempted robbery while interviewing crime prevention chief in Oakland

‘That’s the moment it happened. You see the camera knocked over during a confrontation,’ says anchor as video footage was aired

Clara Hill
Thursday 01 July 2021 17:00
<p>NBC Bay Area were conducting an interview with Guillermo Cespedes while one of the crew was held up at gun point during an attempted robbery</p>

NBC Bay Area were conducting an interview with Guillermo Cespedes while one of the crew was held up at gun point during an attempted robbery

A member of a news crew in California was the victim of an attempted armed robbery during an interview with a senior crime prevention official.

NBC Bay Area was conducting an interview with Guillmero Cespedes, the chief of the Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention at roughly 3.09 pm. During the interview, they were stopped by someone with a gun as he tried to steal from one of the camera operators.

According to SFGATE, a “scuffle” broke out. However, a security personnel intervened, deterring the suspect by brandishing his own gun.

“Our colleagues were conducting an interview at Oakland City Hall when they were approached by two armed individuals,” a spokesperson for the news network said to the San Fransisco Chronicle.

Footage they had managed to capture was aired on nightly bulletin on 28 June, the day of the attack, by anchor Jessica Aguirre.

“That’s the moment it happened, you see the camera knocked over during a confrontation,” she said, narrating the clip.

Police said afterwards to remain cautious as the gunman is presently “outstanding” and warned people to “safe safe”.

The incident happened just after LeRonne Armstrong, the chief of the Oakland Police Department, outlined his opposition to $18 million being removed from the policing budget. The total budget for the policing the city stands at $674 million.

“It looks much different when you’re out in the community and meeting with the families. It’s much different when you hear families demand a stronger police response to shootings,” he said of the new budget that comes into effect on 1 July.

“It’s easier when you don’t talk to senior citizens and hear them tell you that they can’t sleep at night, because of all the shootings,” he continued.

Oakland’s rate of gun crime has increased this year, according to MrArmstrong. He said his department had seized 406 firearms. In 2021, there have been 65 murders recorded so far, nearly double the rate at the same point in 2020, which was 34.

The redirected $18 million is intended to go towards Mr Cespedes’ Department of Violence Prevention as a part of the city’s effort to investigate the causes of crime.

City Councilman Dan Kalb, who supported the decision, told the East Bay Times that it was time to finally do something about gun violence by potentially rooting out the causes.

“And we decided this year that we’re finally going to say yes to that, we’re finally going to say we are going to start the process, start the allocations to be serious about violence prevention and intervention.”

Police departments in US are believed to have a collective budget of $1 billion, according to Forbes. Recently, there has been a national discussion prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests last summer on whether policing should be reformed.

Some have suggested that money allocated to policing ought to be spent on education and social services instead.

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